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A key pathway into the middle class for many women is vanishing

Published by Business Insider on Fri, 06 Dec 2019


Over the past two decades, the American economy shed over 2.1 million administrative and office support jobs that offered a steady path into the middle class for many women, particularly those without a college degree, the Washington Post reported.The wave of jobs losses hit administrative assistants, clerks, bookkeepers, executive assistants and secretaries, according to Labor Department data.And it hasn't let up in the decade after the Great Recession even with sustained economic growth, suggesting that type of work won't recover and may be permanently lost.The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment within administrative positions will suffer over 608,000 job cuts going into the next ten years.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.Over the past two decades, the American economy shed over 2.1 million administrative and office support jobs that offered a steady path into the middle class for many women, particularly those without a college degree, the Washington Post reported.The wave of jobs losses hit administrative assistants, clerks, bookkeepers, executive assistants and secretaries, according to Labor Department data. And it hasn't let up in the decade after the Great Recession even with sustained economic growth, suggesting that type of work won't recover and may be permanently lost.Administrative jobs are about 70 percent female, according to the Post.Many of those administrative positions have been automated or outsourced instead. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment within administrative positions will suffer over 608,000 job cuts going into the next ten years. Experts say technology will factor into replacing those roles."The new trend is to actually replace administrative work with robotic software," Phil Fersht told the Post. "I saw a bank in Brazil recently replace 600 staff with basically a chatbot."Another element that's serving as a barrier for the 18 million remaining administrative jobs is upskilling as companies increasingly require a college degree for those positions."For non-college educated workers, the landscape of opportunity is contracting and narrowing," MIT economist David Autor told the Post.SEE ALSO:The 30 best high-paying jobs of the futureJoin the conversation about this storyNOW WATCH: Extremists turned a frog meme into a hate symbol, but Hong Kong protesters revived it as an emblem of hope
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